Insight

Welcome to our platform for insight into all the latest in law and business. We hope to inspire and share big ideas that make the difference driving your business forward.

insight
Earth Needs Good Lawyers
18 Jun 2018 As of January 2018, our much respected ex-Partner Raija-Leena Ojanen has been working as the legal advisor for WWF. At D&I, Raija was a true role model for her uncompromising dedication to the highest level of professional service. Q: What made you first want to work for WWF? The idea of working for an environmental organization slowly grew upon me. Through the pro bono work done at D&I for WWF, I started to receive regular dosages of information about the deterioration of the biodiversity, the overexploitation of natural resources and the increasing urgency to tackle climate change. The flow of information increased when I was appointed board member for WWF Finland.  Also, during those years, I had many interesting discussions with my daughter, who recently completed her masters in biology, about human genetics, biochemistry and how exposure to toxic chemicals affects us. Thirdly, client projects involving sustainability and compliance became more and more important parts of my work as head of Corporate advisory, Compliance and CSR. I remember starting to vaguely think about a future in globally oriented environmental work sometime around 2014/2015. The thoughts grew stronger last summer at Berkeley where I completed the first part of my two-summer LLM studies. At Berkeley I learned how big a role lawyers play, at least in America, in promoting environmentally conscious and sustainable public policies. I was greatly impressed by the organization Earthjustice that uses the slogan “Earth Needs a Good Lawyer”. Q: What are the most rewarding things about working at WWF? WWF works to build a future where there is good balance between nature and people. The work is done on a wide spectrum of activities ranging from building snowbanks to protect the newborn Saimaa ringed seal to hands-on building of fishways around dams in freshwater waterways to interaction with politicians and businesses about steps towards carbon-neutrality and further onto international talks at Arctic Council. Although I thought that I had a pretty good understanding ahead, I have been amazed during the first months as a new Panda (that’s what new recruits are called at WWF) at how much the group of about 60 people at WWF Finland can accomplish. The talent is in cooperation and the engaging organizations and people to work with WWF to reach important goals. It is very rewarding to be able to contribute my part for the saving of the world. Q: What legal issues or challenges have you got coming up on the horizon at WWF? The great challenge at WWF is making governments and businesses understand the urgency around climate change. Although the common goal under the Paris Agreement is to keep the global warming under 2°C compared to pre-industrial time, the transformation to carbon-neutrality is lagging seriously behind. It is apparent that the present policy approach that promotes voluntary efforts and produces legislation that impose transparency and reporting requirements to generate market pressure on reducing carbon footprints have proven to be insufficient. Making the changes happen soon enough seems to call for impact-oriented legislation. The parliaments in Finland, in EU and globally may need to move to passing binding obligation on government entities and businesses to assess whether their actions are in line with the two-degree target and if not, to make the necessary changes. The challenge is how to draft such legislation so that the rules are easy to understand, implement and monitor. Q: What do you miss from Dittmar & Indrenius? The best part of the work at D&I was working with long-term clients, some of which I had the pleasure of advising for over 20 years. Long cooperation built mutual trust and gave an in-depth understanding of the key elements of the client’s business. The legal challenges were solved in seamless cooperation between the representatives of the client and the dedicated team at D&I. I will surely be following the success of those companies also in the future. From a personal perspective, I already miss our special D&I team spirit. It works like glue and has built a strong community. D&I truly is a great place to work and it was not easy to say goodbye. Luckily, I do not have to leave it completely behind. Before I left, I made sure that I am on the invitation lists for practically all D&I events! And there are a lot of opportunities to stay in contact through the pro bono cooperation that continues between WWF and D&I. Q: Besides work-related text, what are you reading or planning to read next and why? At the moment, it is difficult for me to separate between work-related and other reading. There is so much I have to learn about the status of the planet, the research on the future and the ways to turn things around. I am presently reading a global forecast by Jorgen Randers called 2052. The book seeks to understand what the world is likely to look like in year 2052. I have not read far enough to tell you here what his conclusion is. If I manage to stay healthy and live long, I will be around to witness if he was right or wrong. I hope the world comes together and is able to make the necessary changes.
insight
Great Expectations
4 Dec 2017 In the high-stakes environment of leading law firms in Finland, customer experience is the new black. Differentiating, however, is challenging in a market where everyone is fiercely attempting to be the number one law firm delivering excellent service with the same Lego blocks: collaborating with the clients using the latest technology and focusing on talent while embracing the unprecedented change of 21st century. To make it in the face of intensified competition, one must speed up. Second, one must manage change. EEven the fastest changing law firms are not changing fast enough compared to their clients. Looking back, much has changed. When I graduated from law school in 2000, law firms in Finland couldn't care less about marketing or sales. It was an era of "eat what you kill" with transactional client relationships and word-of-mouth reputation was all that mattered. Active selling was considered almost shameful. I've lost count on how many times I've heard "a job well-done is the best kind of marketing" but it's definitely been more often than the times the clients were asked whether the job was indeed well-done. Client has always been the king, but nobody in this business, in the most noble of professions, has been talking about customer experience until recently. "The catalyst for this transformation is the client and her changing expectations" Today everyone is rushing as fast as they can to jump on the bandwagon of customer experience. The catalyst for this transformation is the client and her changing expectations of the modern law firm. In terms of winning a new client, having a good reputation for legal competence across a variety of practice areas is not an exceptionally good differentiator anymore. Client experience is. Aligning KPIs with those of the client lies at the heart of figuring out what really matters to in-house counsels who are measured by how well they serve their business in achieving its targets - and manage costs. Understanding what the in-house counsels value for money requires a good chat with them and, at the minimum, a change of the angle - especially in this business traditionally obsessed about Rolls-Royce standards, sometimes regardless of the type of work assigned. Often a big part of the law firm work happens behind the scenes, much like in a heart surgery where the patient is in full narcosis. Sure, the patient expects to have the best possible surgeon cutting her open with the best possible knives. What makes the difference is the entirety, including the pre-op and post-op parts of the service, the points of contact that the patient actually feels and experiences herself. In our own D&I Customer Satisfaction Survey in summer 2017, our clients were extremely happy with their client journey with us: how well we understood their business needs and collaborated with them on a daily basis. 98% of our clients who responded to the survey said they would recommend us. Without direct comparison to other market players, such praising results must obviously be taken with some grains of salt. We also take part in the currently ongoing Prospera Law Firm Review, the annual evaluation of the most respected Finnish law firms. Receiving feedback, especially critical, is very important for us in measuring our performance and in developing our customer experience further towards the best-in-class in Finland. Much as with adopting AI, sometimes firms believe they can leapfrog necessary prerequisites and just begin exceeding client expectations as of tomorrow. Often the missing piece is not asking the client. The most important thing is the firm culture and its link to the strategy, neither of which can be disconnected from the clients. At D&I we strongly believe in our team-player culture. It is a culture not fit for everyone, but loved by our own people, as reflected in the 2017 Great Place to Work® Finland survey where we were ranked as one of the TOP 10 workplaces in Finland. Our culture lies at the core of our customer promise and experience. Our Powerhouse operating model is an efficient customer-centric cross-silo way of working enabling innovative and holistic solutions matching our clients' business needs. Developing both our culture and our way of working is a must-win especially in terms of our future clients and partners, the millennials, who are already part of the junior work force. They are different in subtle but fundamental ways: less loyal, more informed, value social connection and purpose - and care more about the brand than the current clients. They may want to go climbing for months every year and may not see the value of showing up at the office at 8 am unless they are indeed needed at that ungodly hour, but they are as ambitious as we are, looking for personal and professional development and opportunities to do groundbreaking, meaningful work. In this respect, we couldn’t be happier that based on law students' votes, the Finnish Lawyers Association rated D&I the Best Law Student Employer of 2017 in Finland. With curiosity and enthusiasm we continue building a modern law firm of the future with an exceptional history of 118 years. Personally, I have great expectations for 2018 and urge you to stay tuned for our exciting news during the first quarter of 2018. Please, have a chat with your trusted D&I advisors and why not give me a call as well. I would love to hear about your great expectations. I'll trade them for a lunch.  
insight
Catching Up with Teemu Oksanen of Futurice
22 Jun 2017 Before joining Futurice as their Legal Counsel in 2017, Teemu Oksanen worked with passion at Dittmar & Indrenius for several years. At D&I Teemu specialised in environmental law, real estate and energy related matters, but advised clients also regularly on technology related matters as well as on general contract and commercial law. We met Teemu and asked him about the new and intriguing beginnings and challenges in his life.   From One Great Place to Work for to Another – What Made You Choose Futurice? I really enjoyed my four years at D&I and its superb family-like working environment. I was not looking for a new job, but the opportunity made a thief. After several discussions with Futuriceans, I was convinced of their truly unique culture and decided to try my wings as an in-house counsel. D&I and Futurice actually share the very essence of their cultures: the real trust in their employees and low hierarchy. After having worked at D&I, a strong company culture was and is always going to be a must for me. What Are the Most Challenging and Inspiring Things About Working at Futurice? Freedom is one the key elements of Futurice’s company culture. Futurice comprises of over 380 builders, innovators and change-makers who all are free to make any decisions by themselves as long as they are based on our 3x2 model. All they must do is to consider how the decision would affect their colleagues, the customer and the company financials - now and in the future. I think that this freedom is the key to our success – everyone wants to give their best effort to the common goal. On the other hand, the freedom also means great lack of binding rules which can sometimes be a little frustrating for us lawyers. What Legal Issues or Challenges Have You Got Coming Up on the Horizon Over the Next Few Months? To be prepared for the General Data Protection Regulation is indubitably the most essential challenge for every corporate counsel this year. It will definitely be a challenge, but we also see great business opportunities it could provide us and our dear customers. Otherwise, the horizon for a lawyer in digital transformation business is wide and always somewhat unclear. An agile company needs an agile lawyer prepared to take on challenges and react quickly. In the Era of Technology Revolution, How Do You Manage to Keep Your Head in the Game at Futurice? Be curious. Ask why. Be agile. The digitalization of the world and businesses is still in its infancy. But the change is ever-accelerating, and the legal framework is and always will be steps behind the real world. As a lawyer, I must note the legal risks in a project, but I am not here to shoot down any futuristic ideas our designers and developers may have by simply saying that something cannot be legally done. Instead, I want to be part of the team finding a legitimate way to turn those ideas into life-changing actions. As we like to say it: Love the problem, not the solution. We Believe Here at D&I That Trust Is Paramount and Futurice Is a Company Built on Trust. What Does It Mean For You? Futurice is indeed built on the foundation of trust. Many say that trust is an honour to be earned. We don’t think that way. We think trust is given, not earned, because in order to be trusted you have to start by trusting the others. When you place absolute trust in a person, the threshold to misuse it is extremely high - doing something that would result in losing trust is not even an option. Be curious. Ask why. Be agile.
insight
It's All About the Core
13 Apr 2017 "Every company will be a technology company" exclaimed a slide of Linda Liukas at Nordic Business Forum Sweden in January 2017. That's the go-to phrase of our 4th industrial revolution, the digital economy, an era of apps for everything. Certainly, for not being "Ubered", everyone needs to adapt and evolve. But is there more to it than "being a technology company"? Dr. Aki Hintsa, physician of many top Formula 1 drivers, emphasized holistic wellbeing and the importance of recognizing one's core on the road towards sustainable success. While he coached individuals, his teachings got me thinking about D&I's core. Since 1899 we've been engineering landmark transactions, solving major disputes and been there for our clients in times of significant changes - even revolutions. Over the years we've adapted our strategies, systems and processes but some things have remained. Such as strive for excellence. For a long time, the bedrock of excellence in law firm business in general was cutting-edge technical capability in legal rules and documentation, and for the best of the best, it also showed in the proper use of commas and widths of margins. Today, one of the key factors that clients link to law firm excellence is efficiency. AI Ross has already been hired and solutions such as Coin and Luminance are giving young associates their lives back. Here's to technology! Fast forward ten years and I bet the best of the best in law have partnered-up with technology but are also exceptionally good at harnessing emotional intelligence, active collaboration and ability to work across disciplines. There, I believe, is excellence redefined. Executing digital transition in working methods and service experience is non-negotiable for any first-class law firm. However, the key will be excellence in understanding the impact of the changing world to our clients' businesses, in cross silo collaboration, new ways of legal thinking and, inarguably, in human-to-human interaction. That's the kind of excellence our clients and our own people value most at D&I. That's how we operate and with that kind of culture of excellence in mind, we also recruit. In February 2017 we were ranked as one of the TOP 10 workplaces in Finland in the Great Place to Work® Finland survey. 5 out of those 10 companies are technology companies. Or, all of them, as Linda would say. She also says that we need vision and aspirations, things we aim to use technology for. She's right but embracing new technologies with a vision may not be enough. All will try it, not all will make it. What really matters is corporate culture – our core.  
insight
How Do You Measure a Year?
21 Jun 2016 How do we measure a year? In daylight, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. And in five hundred twentyfive thousand six hundred printed A4 papers less than what we consumed the year before. As a WWF Green Office, we measure a year in change. Green Office is a practical environmental management system for offices developed by WWF Finland. The power of Green Office is built by tangible targets and involving people in changing their consumer habits. In addition to committing to reduced paper consumption per employee at D&I, our own green goals culminate in lower energy consumption, recycling, waste sorting and sustainability in office equipment. Being a WWF is a team-effort, including awareness-increasing luncheons and workshops with debates on, e.g., food and food-related choices we make on a daily basis. Our whole team from millennials to partners has shown commitment to the cause through competing against each other in bicycling to the office, turning off the lights and in sorting out banana peels. As a Green Office we report our chosen key indicators to WWF to see how we’re progressing, where we need to readjust and also, to show through performance that we're actually doing what we said we would do. Our whole team from millennials to partners has shown commitment to the cause. But why are we doing all this? To join the choir of companies treating climate change as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) issue? Absolutely. We like to see ourselves as forerunners in Finland in making ethics and CSR inescapable considerations in all our advisory work. However, CSR is not the full story. In tandem with creating social good on a global scale, being a Green Office is a matter of strategical thinking and mission. Our mission is to build better society and make our clients succeed, not only in today's economy but in decades to come. To accomplish that, we purposefully act on all fronts and want to show example in participating in slowing down global warming through reducing our ecological footprint. Being a Green Office is a small piece of a puzzle in creating a better tomorrow. Our mission is to build better society and make our clients succeed, not only in today's economy but in decades to come. Green is the new black, they say. In March 2016 JPMorgan Chase, one of the world’s biggest banks, announced it will stop direct financing of all new coal mines and new coal power plants in rich countries in the wake of the Paris Climate Agreement of December 2015. It has been predicted that the Paris Climate Agreement has fundamentally altered the way businesses think about the financial risks of climate change, and that those who choose to stand still with a short-term utilitarian economic logic will not prevail. Put in another way: no matter how much environmental awareness increases, it's the actions that count. No matter how much environmental awareness increases, it's the actions that count. Besides the usage of paper, I have the habit of counting trees. Looking look out of our common living room at the office, right across the Esplanadi park , I can see 31 trees of perfect green beneath the skyes of blue. I tell you, the view from the most beautiful office building in Helsinki is beautiful. In fact, in early June it is so beautiful that I rarely can resist the temptation of singing to myself. I've found that "What a Wonderful World" is always a good idea. The song is a never-fail classic in my Spotify-list that I created for D&I's own Spotify account (dittmarindrenius). While thinking about whether your firm could become a WWF Green Office, go ahead and enjoy "Thinking Green and Slow". See you at our Green Office.     *This is a re-written/edited excerpt of the column published originally in D&I Quarterly 2/2016.
insight
Brand Equals Culture
3 May 2016 Katja Hollmén, D&I's Director of Client Relations, in charge of marketing, sales and PR, was also handed a blank slate to work with when Senior Partner Jan Ollila hired her two years ago. ”Do what you need to do. We have complete faith in you. This is an intelligent organisation – challenge us for greatness!"Hollmén, who joined D&I from the media-sector, admits that it was a culture shock of a kind. "There was this almost fierce ambitiousness for high quality and yet it was a very relaxed group of amazingly intelligent and highly-likeable people. But the thing I fell for was the respect and trust I felt in my heart immediately."Like corporate culture, the client experience, too, is made up of encounters, interactions and memories. According to Hollmén, what matters most in client relations is how well the advisor is able to build trust at the front line. D&I's trust-centric culture was a great foundation for her to rethink the firm's marketing strategy and D&I's client journey. “You'd better have all the ingredients ready at hand before you start preparing the meal of a lifetime for your client.” Inside the firm, unique employee experience had already been created through fostering team-spirit and trust. "Without that soul, that internal belief, I don't think it would be possible to successfully build trust in the advisor-client relationship. There can't really be any inconsistency between internal and external brand, they need to be fully aligned. You'd better have all the ingredients ready at hand before you start preparing the meal of a lifetime for your client", she says determinedly. All B2B professional services aim to create superior client experiences in order to build trust-based relationships. "Even in B2B, the origin of trust is in 1-2-1, human-to-human relationship, that is never based on solely technical mastery or a frictionless process detail, say, whether billing was on time or whether there was a feedback session - both important touchpoints on D&I's client journey. Like high quality, trust is a very holistic experience with several intertwined layers", Hollmén explains. Clearly, trust has been established when looking at D&I's financial figures in 2015 (+30% increase in turnover), 4th position in Mergermarket report on Nordic M&A deals in 2015 (measured by deal value) and the recent "highly commended", 1st runner-up position in the Lawyer Magazine's Law Firm of the Year in the Nordics in 2016. "A recent client quote of ours said: 'Having now worked with them I can say they are quite excellent'. It reflects perfectly what I would like all our clients to feel after working with us: trust", Hollmén says modestly, yet proudly. "My role? I'm the battery charger for new creative ideas", she laughs. "My primary task is to boost and empower this firm and our people to succeed. My team and I do our best to make everyone see the big picture and understand the holy union of marketing, sales activities and the assignments on their table." Hollmén works closely with Palm and they strive to utilise each other's knowledge and expertise as much as possible. "Simon Sinek has said that customers will never love a company unless the employees love it first. We are big fans of Sinek because he shares our views", Palm and Hollmén exclaim with a laugh, as they complete each other’s sentences. Read also our Trust is Paramount article.
insight
Catching Up with Kati Levoranta of Rovio
30 Jun 2015 Before joining Rovio Entertainment Ltd. as their Chief Legal Officer in 2012, Kati has worked in-house at Valio, Pöyry, Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks. However, she started her legal career at Dittmar & Indrenius in 1996 after being trained at the bench at Tampere District Court and graduating from the University of Turku in 1995. Q: What made you first want to go in-house? I didn’t have any prefixed long-term plans regarding my career. The only thing I was sure of was that I definitely wanted to do post-graduate studies abroad. After my LL.M year at Columbia Law School, I joined Valio as their legal counsel.The first thing that inspired me in being an in-house lawyer was the close co-operation with business people, the feeling of ownership of projects - the satisfaction of achieving business goals, together as a team. The other thing I loved was melting into the heterogeneous group of professionals with varying backgrounds. It’s very different from working with attorneys only, I can tell you! The third thing I enjoyed from the very beginning was the speed at which things have to be done in order to keep the wheels turning. As an in-house lawyer you do your best mitigating risks and then you just go ahead. That suits me very well.The six years at Valio were an amazing learning experience. The time was formative in a sense that I learned to appreciate some of my personality traits as character assets in the business world, which was an important eye-opener from career perspective. Q: What’s the best thing about working at Rovio? For me, that every day is different. There is no such thing as a typical day at Rovio. Instead of routines, there’s always a sense of inspiration and excitement behind the corner. One day we may be negotiating with Hollywood stars and the next day we’re hosting high level governmental officials from the Republic of China in our offices in Espoo. There’s an immense spectrum of things that can land on my desk and I love it. And it doesn’t hurt that I’m a huge fan of our products! There’s always a sense of inspiration and excitement behind the corner. Q: What legal issues or challenges have you got coming up on the horizon? Regulatory issues in the gaming industry are constantly on our radar. We constantly need to be thinking ahead and to predict the direction of the industry regulation in order to be able to turn the tables, if necessary, and prevent any slowing of our own business. Q: In your free time, what are you reading at the moment? I have just been reading a truly fantastic book “Anatomy of winning” (Voittamisen Anatomia) by the famous sports surgeon Dr. Aki Hintsa, best known for his work with Olympic athletes and Formula 1 pilots. According to Hintsa’s philosophy, one needs a foundation of holistic wellbeing for being able to deliver optimal performance. Hintsa’s book strongly resonates with my own beliefs that are based on my personal experience. As a former tennis player, different kinds of sports have always been the most natural way of supporting my wellness and, subsequently, my ability to give my very best professionally. Last year, I started training triathlon. I’m going to my first triathlon competitions in Finland this summer and to Mallorca in early fall. While training, there have been moments when I’ve felt completely beaten physically but, at the same time, mentally crystal-clear and joyful, almost invinsible. I recommend reading Hintsa’s book and acting accordingly. Maintaining good physical condition through doing sports regularly and resting well helps dealing with stress and gives boost when it’s needed.

Dittmar & Indrenius